All around the world, an invoice is a critical piece of paper that documents business transactions. As a country within the EU, France uses invoices that abide by the rules and regulations of the political union. In this country, the use of physical invoices of all types is quite common. Also, electronic invoices are widely used and accepted within the country and the EU. The emergence of the electronic invoice has significantly reduced transaction issues and makes processes faster.

Invoice Types in France

Types of Invoices

The French use several types of invoices for different purposes. We are going to discuss a few essential types.

Pro forma Invoice

This invoice is a prevalent type, which conveys a detailed narration of the cost of commodities to a client. Its validity is limited and does not replace a valid invoice. 

Customs accept pro forma invoices to clear undelivered goods at border control. Also, this type of invoice does not include the details. After the completion of the purchase, a proper sales invoice is issued, which serves as a valid invoice.

Credit Memo Invoice

The credit memo invoice is also an essential type of invoice. The seller issues this invoice to buyers that receive damaged goods after returning the goods to the seller. Depending on the purchase agreement between the two parties, the seller may decide to replace the item(s), provide a voucher to be used in the store or, provide a refund to the buyer. Credit memo invoices also are issued for reasons other than damaged goods. These include delivery of substandard goods, application of wrong discount rates, and charging a higher rate than arranged.

Debit Memo Invoice

This type of invoice is the direct opposite of the credit memo invoice. Debit memo invoices are issued by the sellers to the buyers when the buyers refuse to honor the initial agreement between the parties. Incomplete payment or total lack of payment may prompt the seller to send this invoice to the buyer. The banking industry frequently makes use of debit memo invoices.

Worksheet Invoice

The worksheet invoice documents the required payments for hours worked by a contractor for a client. Worked hours are logged on to the invoice and presented to the client for payment. The worksheet invoice is quite intuitive as it allows the client to see the job done and the duration. Worksheet invoice is, therefore, a hybrid document that includes a work log and an invoice merged into a single document to ease verification and payment.

Electronic Invoice

In France, the electronic invoice has slowly gained momentum. An electronic invoice is no different from a physical invoice. It also carries all the information found on a traditional invoice. The significant difference is that one is digital, and the other is physical.

An electronic invoice has several advantages over its physical counterpart. It makes for a seamless and fast transaction, which removes the time delay that is associated with handling physical invoices. Also, it provides an added advantage of preserving the thousands of trees that are cut down to produce paper.


In France, various types of invoices are used to perform different types of functions. The electronic invoice use has rapidly increased within the country and across the EU.